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Continuing the Russian dominance on the global MMA scene, former UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s cousin Usman Nurmagomedov successfully defended his Lightweight belt at Bellator 292. In doing so, the younger Nurmagomedov ensured that the Dagestanis continued to be the most feared group of fighters in all major promotions. The Bellator lightweight champ achieved this by beating former UFC champ Benson Henderson in less than three minutes at the Bellator 292 headliner.

Following the win, his brother and mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov made a heart-touching post on his socials. He thanked one individual in particular for helping his team in his absence. And since ‘The Eagle’ had announced that he was stepping away from coaching duties, this man was surely well deserving of all the praise coming from the legend himself.

Khabib Nurmagomedov pays respects to Javier Mendez following Usman’s win

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The man we speak of is none other than AKA head coach Javier Mendez. The long-time coach to Nurmagomedov and his brothers has been a mainstay in their careers since they landed in America with aspirations of dominating the MMA world. Now as they live their dreams, with two of them sitting atop the LW division in different promotions, Mendez can rest easy with the assurance that he’d given his all.

And ‘The Eagle’ also understands the importance of Mendez in his camp. After the passing of his father, it has solely been his and Mendez’s responsibility to corner their fighters as they made their walkouts and stepped into the cage. But with Nurmagomedov’s recent retirement from coaching, this pressure now has been shifted onto the shoulders of the 52-year-old.

Thus it was natural that the 34-year-old made his sentiments known to the public with this heart-warming post.

“It was amazing performance guys. Coach Javier Mendez, thank you so much for everything you doing for brothers,” wrote the former champ.

Indeed, a lovely way to show his appreciation for a man that played such a crucial role in his career.

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Usman Nurmagomedov beats former UFC champ Benson Henderson to retain Bellator title

With Mendez and his brothers beside him, Usman Nurmagomedov proved with his performance last night that he was truly on a different plane in terms of skills. The 26-year-old finished the veteran with an RNC under the three-minute mark of the first round.

Read More: Bellator CEO Provides a Bleak Update on Francis Ngannou’s Prospects With the Promotion

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With this loss, Henderson, once a UFC champ, announced his retirement from the sport as well. But as the curtains close on ‘Smooth’s’ illustrious MMA career, it appears that Usman Nurmagomedov’s career is just setting off. And a performance like this means his talents cannot be denied anymore. With this win, he also fulfills a part of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s plans to see his fighters donning gold at every promotion in the world.

Watch This Story: 5 Times Khabib Nurmagomedov Absolutely Destroyed Conor McGregor at His Own Game of Trash-Talk